Recorded in the summer of 1991 on a small Fostex 4-track, this seven-song album was the first official collaboration of David Perrigan on lead/rhythm guitar and me on the keyboard and as lead vocalist since the demise of our previous band, Fable.
It was the tail end of the (New) New Day stint when Dave and I got our musical juices flowing again as collaborators. The experience was thoroughly creative and productive. As the (New) New Day chapter was coming to a close, Dave had revealed to me that he had been experiencing a personal reawakening spiritually. He expressed that if he were to ever find himself involved in another musical project, that it would have to be a Christian-focused endeavor. Though I was not a Christian at the time, I was open to the idea.
As Dave had been sharing his faith with me a small revival was exploding at the church he was attending. Through Dave extending an invitation to me, I began attending the same church and I would ultimately go on to give my life to Christ and become a Christian. It was primarily these events that would lay the foundation for the spiritual undertones found in the album Holy Ghost Stories.
The stage was now set. Utilizing our now seasoned songwriting and lyric writing skills, and guided by a new spiritual muse. Our renewed partnership would craft a unique alternative, edgy progressive rock sound, which can be heard throughout this album. Another addition to our bag of tricks would be my newly polished vocals, which easily moved me toward taking on the lead vocalist position this time around.
I had taken the criticisms about my abilities as a singer and lead vocalist for the band Fable to heart. After the band parted ways, I centered all of my energy on shaping and perfecting my vocal artistry, as well as strengthening my range as a singer. New Jerusalem’s first album would truly be the first test of my efforts. For the album, I would add multiple harmonies and my own lead vocals, often in a single take. The opening song was certain to leave no doubt that my newly polished lead vocals would silence any doubters.
New Jerusalem’s debut album would be titled Holy Ghost Stories. Our first collaborative effort would be the opening song “Video Messiah”. Built largely around a marimba sequence and thick, warm pads, I crafted the arrangement and chord progression that would become the song’s signature sound. The song’s chorus melody and concept would be Dave’s contribution.
The subject matter of the song was the exploitation of Christians through unethical TV evangelists looking to make a quick buck and those who come as false prophets proclaiming a false gospel. The song’s strong message, dynamic chorus, and powerful lyrics would prove to be a standard for the rest of the album’s collaborations.
Having sequenced most of the album, we would look to other session players to help complete the recording. This included Bassist Robert Trujillo on “Find Your Parade” and Bassist Mike Jones on “Lavender and Lace”. As mention above, this would also be the first album featuring my lead vocals. During this time, I had been heavily influenced by vocalists like Fish and Steve Hogarth of the progressive rock band Marillion.
Dave and I would soon have a chance meeting that would move our band and our music to the next level, as well as give our band a new name. That name was Fair Exchange.
Album cover concept: William Perrigan